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What are we watching?


#1588

Its not even nudity. It’s just breasts. Breasts breasts breasts. That’s all sexuality is to TV. One or two glimpses at female genitalia (apparently designed by guys who have never seen a naked woman, not a labia in sight!), but mostly breasts.

If they’re going for nudity, at least do it properly. So many times the episodes actively avoid showing a naked man. Heaven forbid!

Got to admit, in a few of the episodes I couldn’t help but think the animators spent a disproportionate amount of time animating the sex scenes. ‘Beyond the Aquila Rift’ especially - not seen an animated sex scene look so ‘real’ before. Well not real, real, but there sure were a lot of different physics modules at work in the character models that weren’t required for any other scene!

Overall, I didn’t quite understand the theming. Most the episodes at the beginning had at least 2 of the three (love/death/robots). Then there was yogurt?!? And vampires?! I would have preferred a tighter restraint for an anthology series.


#1589

There was a whole episode with full frontal nudity! I think that one was with (very good) mo-cap as well. The whole nudity thing was a bit gratuitous, and often unnecessary in the anthology.

And, yes, goodness gracious me, lord forbid anyone actually shows a penis in anything, unless it’s Harvey Keitel in The Piano. Our eyes would probably explode, and the world would end from a strike from a comet. Even GoT has issues with naked men (sometimes), but not with naked women.

I’m OK with yogurt and vampires. Really what sold me was the description for one of the episodes (not a spoiler, this is what Netflix says): “Long after the fall of humanity, three robots embark on a sightseeing tour of a post apocalyptic city.”

SOLD.


#1590

That being said, as a fan and student of animation, I really like what they’ve done.


I also notice that LD&R has come up more than any other subject recently, whether critical or complimentary. So, that’s gotta mean something.


(EDIT: Also, Maurice LaMarche showing up from the middle of nowhere, doing his best Pinky and the Brain voice as a narrator, has got to count for something, as well).


#1591

Anyone want to recommend particular episodes for LD&R? It doesn’t sound much like my thing so i’m unlikely to watch it all.


#1592

Three Robots, The Witness, Sonnie’s Advantage and Beyond the Aquila Rift are my faves.


#1593

THAT’S WHERE I RECOGNISED THE VOICE! It was really bugging me


#1594

On the chance you enjoy this anywhere nearly as much as I do, watch Post Modern Jukebox jazz version of P&tB theme. Don’t stop until the characters in the background chime in. Real fans will wait until the last syllable.


#1595

My more comprehensive review of Love, Death and Robots, very very minor spoilers (in the ‘this one looks realistic’ kinda way):

Overall, the anthology would only surprise someone that was entirely new to science fiction, or thought that a JJ Abrams movie constitutes hard sci fi. Despite this, many of the characters are engaging and you want to see what happens to them (even if you’ve already guessed it).

The animation is generally quite lush, but the uncanny valley certainly makes a number of appearances in the more photo-realistic texture attempts - especially in the first one ‘Sonnie’s Edge’. Human proportions are toyed with, and they end up making the valley deeper due to the pretty lifelike skin and structures. Sonnie’s edge had some characters with too-short necks and too-small mouth/nose distances, and the effect was rather distracting. Most other offerings are in disparate cartoonish styles, from ‘Batman Animated Series Opening’ to ‘Overwatch Character Intro’.

The actual concepts explored were relatively weak, in general. They run the gamut of sci-fi tropes, and aren’t going to challenge anyone in that Asimov ‘holy crap robotranshumanism’ kinda way, or even in the HG Wells Timemachine ‘future humans are either cattle or cannabalistic troglodytes’ kind of way. It was more like ‘here’s a setting you can understand pretty well, with one element you’re not expecting’.

Because of this, I feel like the plots suffered as well. A lot of the drama in the end was because of very simple forces (something is very dangerous and unstoppable), rather than any of the actual concepts creating the drama. What I love about scfi-fi is when people just go bonkers when the weight of what they’re dealing with finally sits on them. Here, it’s typically ‘I’m screwed now because I will probably die’.

Most of the sex and nudity feels shoe-horned in to be edgy, save for a few cases. But considering how much tilted towards robots and death the narratives were, I figure the sex was supposed to be the ‘love’ part in many stories? There was some brotherly love, brief fatherly love, love of a pet-thing and one example of married people who loved each other, but everything else was honestly just ‘look they’re gonna have sex’ or ‘havin’ sex’. That’s not capital L love. Is that how we telegraph love, or even romance nowadays? This is why I spend a lot more time watching Pixar movies than R-rated fare…

Individual ratings. I won’t go too much into specific plot details, but I will be overanalyzing things sometimes. If they didn’t want that, they shouldn’t have made a sci-fi anthology:

Minor Spoilers

Sonnie’s Edge: spectacular violence, lame protagonist motivations (what she was doing didn’t match what she could have been doing, given the setting), zero-to-sex in ten words. The visuals were pretty dang great, despite this being the most uncanny-valley for me. This has some of the weirder body proportions in the tiny details. One that I immediately felt ‘I’d like to see what happens to the main character next’ after watching it, despite not really liking how the story worked. - 7/10

Three Robots: Funny, very likable characters, commentary on humanity is what everyone would write on their very first try. Ending is what someone would think is a really creative idea when they were high, but normally would realise that it’s pretty much what any millenial would hallucinate after too long on youtube. 7/10

The Witness: reason A I will never watch any of this with my wife. Not just because of the extensive unnecessary nudity, but all of the obviously asian females in this anthology are either: a prostitute who can’t get her clothes back on, a sexy spirit that men become infatuated with (sexually, not emotionally or in any tangibly positive way), or a sexy spirit that men crave that becomes a prostitute. I’m a white dude, I never noticed the representation problem in cinema before, but my asian wife feels small when every asian female is either an exotic sex-thing, a weak character that supports someone else, or ‘the girl that comes in to distract the main guy from his real true love for half a season of the show’.
Otherwise: The entire plot of this one is fully understood by the viewer 5 seconds in, but the animation is gorgeous and the actual ‘acting’ is incredible. You believe the tension and fear and confusion of these animated characters. I’d love to see more stuff in this animation style, by these people. 7/10

Suits: the wholesome one. Nothing special here, but I liked the characters in that ‘ahh yes, that trope’ kinda way. The first appearance of actual genuine love! An almost tear near escape’d mine eye! 7/10

Sucker of Souls: super animation, the one with the most elaborate ‘Death’ out of any of the deaths, also just the most generic character tropes and a plot so far from theme as to be almost infuriating. Is this even sci-fi?! (No) 6/10

When the Yoghurt took over: eh. Obviously, I love the narrator’s voice. It’s The Brain. The story is the really obvious way to play this. Replace ‘yoghurt’ with anything else taking over and the story doesn’t change at all, just the visuals. 2/10

Beyond the Aquila Rift: one of my least favorite. Super uncomfortably realistic 3d sex, terribly shallow communication of the idea of ‘love’, least creative alien ever, unsatisfying predictable ending paired with very simple concept. 2/10

Good Hunting: kinda hated this one. Nudity was weirdly prevalent again, asian women are (unwilling, waiting to be taken by strong men BLEGH) naked exotic sex creatures, but main character is the ‘asexual asian man’ who is really smart and super great at fighting (and is good looking and super buff), but would never be desired as a sexual/romantic partner, or seek it out himself. Is he a monk? Why do all asian men have to be asexual mystics of some kind? In order to make their hapless ‘sexy but really doesn’t want to be’ female counterparts feel safe because sex is wrong? If the others blindly fetishize love, this one manages to demonize it. Could ramble about this one waaaay longer. 2/10

The Dump: this story is a dump. 1/10

Shape Shifters: I actually like this one, but it’s not sci fi at all, and the messages about war are… mixed. Plot is simple beyond belief. This one, above all others, is the ‘there’s a major variation in the world compared to ours, but NOTHING has changed historically because of this difference’. Brotherly love is here, and makes the story better. The violence is a little hard to watch. 7/10

Helping Hand: hard to watch at one part. Contains none of the 3 elements, unless you consider a satellite a robot. The entire plot would have been solved by ‘tying off’, which would obviously be a standard operating procedure of such things. The construction specialist in me gives this a -1000/10 for the lack of ‘a carabiner and a rope’, the appreciator of human drama gives a 6/10.

Fish Night: I hardly paid attention. I don’t care about these people, and the entire situation and all the dialogue is forced. Animation isn’t nice. 2/10

Lucky 13: Not bad. Straightforward, and you know what’s going down right away, but the main character looks cool and is well animated. Suffers a bit from ‘no-one is brave but the main character’ syndrome, and the way they do war doesn’t make a lick of sense. 6/10

Zima Blue: more along the lines of traditional sci-fi, but a little bit of a fizzle-out at the end. The writers don’t have as profound a thing to say as they think they do, and it lets down a cool artstyle. 6/10

Blindspot: I like this one, because it doesn’t try to do anything hard, but at least it’s fun. I’d watch this show on the reg if they added a cool plot to the fun character designs. 7/10

Ice Age: very… melodramatic. The blend of live-action and animated is fine, but nothing particularily interesting happens and the people onscreen don’t feel that believably excited about it either. *5/10

Multiversity: This one is trying to be both smart and funny, and really really really fails at being either. Some parts of it illicit a chuckle, but this is another one where they must have went forward with all of their first ideas. I hate hitler enough that I don’t find his death funny in any context, nor do I think that the catharsis of seeing him die is comparable to the horrors he enabled. Making him to be a laughable parody of a character is why people throw around the word Nazi and call everyone ‘literally Hitler’ for being any bit left or right of what they believe. 1/10.

Secret War: Maybe my favorite as a story, but it’s not sci-fi! The ending was supremely satisfying, and I liked the different Russians we briefly meet. 9/10


#1596

I’m (always) late to the party, but I got a chance today to watch the series finale to Adventure Time and I went from hating it half way through to loving it by the end and then feeling super sad that it was actually “over”. It’s one of my favourite cartoons and still surprises laughter out of me in a way that other media doesn’t.

My only critique is that I wished they had really dug into their lore and committed to it in the last season. They have all these characters and this crazy world backstory that has no right to be so good for a show that’s 11 minutes long and then they do throw away episodes where BMO is a door to door salesman.


#1597

YES! Just, yes. Thank you for posting that. :heart: :heart: :heart:


#1598

No kidding. I don’t think it was inappropriate, but it did feel a little forced, often. They tried to be edgy, for the sake of edgy-ness. It’s almost like comics in the 90s.

(don’t get me wrong, I’m always a fan of gratuitous anything).


#1599

It’s amusing to hear that most of you Americans were put off by the sex, whereas us sex-crazed Europeans think it’s the gratuitous violence that warrants the Rated R.


#1600

Yeah, take my reviews with a grain of salt - I found the violence too much, but it’s the nudity and sex that sticks in my head and bothers me. I’m basically a 220 pound child. The violence wasn’t quite the kind that really disturbs me, which is the ‘serial killer’ kind.

(but also @twispby and I are Canadian, not American!)


#1601

Decided to give Into the Badlands another go. I tried when it first came out and bounced off, but I just noticed it has 3 seasons, and fairly positive reviews.

Only on episode 2 (of season 1) but I’m feeling it more this time. The wire fight choreography is mostly good, though the effects can be a little budget looking at times, lol.

I’ll see how far I get this time.

I also want to check out that Love, Death, and Robots you’re all talking about.


#1602

We all have the things that trigger us, I guess. As someone who has struggled with pornography, I’m hyper sensitive to sexuality in my media.

I’m the opposite with most violence though. I can compartmentalize violence in my media because I know it’s not real. I can’t click on any YouTube video with real violence, or death though. Can’t handle that.


#1603

Sorry to butt in, but what does “struggling with pornography” mean? Genuinely curious, not looking to argue.


#1604

Short version: I’m a Christian dude, who views pornography as not healthy, but was exposed to it in the second grade and then got a computer in my room in high school (bad idea) have been addicted to it from a young age. Like any addict, I find certain situations/exposures to be… not healthy.

Hope that makes sense? If you want to discuss it you can always message me. :slight_smile:


#1605

Any kind of addiction is rough: sex addiction is a legit difficult thing to deal with, I feel you dude :slight_smile:

But back to topic - how are people finding Star Trek: Discovery? - I was pretty surprised to read in the donor letter that Matt really liked season one and is finding two frustrating. Whereas I stopped watching one cause it felt like it was trying to be edgy and dark but just came across a bit … joyless maybe? Not very Star Trek I’d say.

I’ve been rather enjoying season two though, I think the changes have been great and its felt more hopeful and able to laugh at itself even when things get “serious”


#1606

NO SPOILERS, so I’m sorry if I’m being vague in the below. Well, one, I am saying one thing, next, because it was so stupid:

A “time crystal?” Seriously? How lazy can the writers possibly be!?!

I’m sorry, I get angry. I have a problem with time travel in anything that isn’t Doctor Who.

I like Discovery, I really enjoy the Spock and Michael relationship sub-plot, not to mention Ensign Tilly is pretty much my dream woman ohmigodIloveher.

I am also a fan of the other sub-plots, like Paul and Hugh’s weird thing that happened that kept on making me cry, over and over again, and the Airiam episode.

But, I’m not totally on board. I like it, a lot, but I think the writers keep on making cheap shortcuts, and it’s lead them to more cheap shortcuts, etc…


#1607

I’ve now watched the entirety of LS&R, and I have to say I still don’t get the complaint about sex overload.

Summary

Actually, only 5 of 18 (plus the porn magazine featured in the Dump) episodes include nudity/sexual content, which is less than 30% - whereas about 90% feature violence. I think the fact that Sonnie’s Edge and The Witness are the first episodes (for most people) might skew the perception.
If you compare this to Heavy Metal, the 1981 film this is supposed to be a spiritual successor to, it’s obvious that there thankfully has been a lot of progress in gender representation. That doesn’t mean that all’s well here, of course. The Witness and Sonnie’s edge are surely problematic. However, I find part of the criticism I’ve read aimed at these episodes to be inadequate. (Which I won’t go into to further to keep this shortish).
With regards to Good Hunting, I actually thought the episode made a point of showing/criticizing the impact of a harmful male view and the effects foreign occupation often has on the female population. I’d also note that the episode was written by a Chinese-born author.
And it was interesting to see the male protagonist ,in a reversal of traditional gender tropes, being the supportive, caring one.
One thing I’ve noticed is the absence of ‘busty bombshells’, an omission which I’m certain is deliberate (in how far this is more than combating the symptoms is up for debate).

Did I enjoy the show? Yes. Do I think it’s ‘good’? Mostly, no. I can relate to a lot of @sagantine’s criticisms. But I think just for the animation, it’s worth giving all episodes a shot, as they are all (some considerably) shorter than 20min, and you can still skip to the next anytime.

Edited to add that my favorite episode was Zima Blue. I liked the art, and it was just profound enough for me :wink: